Sunday, 21 September 2014


The other day I picked up a second hand bag from the Op Shop for $8. The exterior fabric is leather, and it is in the slouch style that I like - so it had enough going for it that I bought it. BUT - the styling was a little nana-ish, and the clour was a bit old-lady-blue, so I decided I needed to make it over a little bit by somehow adding a geometric pattern.

I saw a few examples, ranging from the elaborate, to the simple.

found this on Etsy.. I LOVE IT!! Aztec Hand embroidered Clutch/Case/Sleeve for iPad by ShaunDesign, $39.15
Ocean Waves bag. Linen fabric, cotton straps, DMC perle cotton embroidery thread.

How-To: Geometric Tote Bag Embroidery. I'd do this for a smaller clutch/makeup bag

In the end, I saw this awesome fabric by Ralph Lauren Home and used that as my inspiration, and decided to add a pattern to one panel of the bag using white fabric paint.

Ralph Lauren's "Galapagos" fabric in lapis

It definitely has a better vibe to it now, and I'm looking forward to wearing it this Summer.

M x

Saturday, 23 August 2014


This week I've been on a crafting binge after a long hiatus. The final project I have completed (with one still on the to-do list but I think I better take a small break) is a Navajo inspired DIY Pallet wood art piece.

On pinterest I saw these two pins which inspired the project:

Navajo Tribal Geometric Wood Patterned Wall Panel Art, made from reclaimed Barnwood and Pine (

Geometric painted shelves. (

 Ages ago I collected some discarded pallets and they have been propping up the wood pile all winter. I chose a piece, removed the nails and sanded down both sides and the edges to make it safe to hang inside.

Using the Navajo pattern as my guide, I made a template on the computer to decide on the exact placement of my colours - I chose to use Turquoise and Coral. (The darker green is Hullabaloo by Resene, the lighter green is part Surfie Green by Resene and white, and the coral is made up using craft paint (a mix of red, orange and white).

I decided to go with the third configuration, with the idea that later I might make the other two and I can hang them as a triptych. 

Essentially putting this together just required a bit of thinking and some maths. I measured the dimensions of the wood, and then divided the length up to work out how deep each of my arrows should be (each individual arrow was 51mm deep, and the large green and white sections were each made up of three sections.)

I then masked down each side (Leaving a 25mm gap from the edges), found my centre point, and started my pattern 12.5mm from that point on each side.

I first taped out the entire size of the painted section and did two coats of white. 

I then measured out the orange and light green sections and painted those. Lastly masking out the final turquoise section. As this was painted on rough pallet wood, there is some paint run under the tape, through the grain of the wood - but I quite like this and think it adds to the overall aesthetic.

The final product hangs in pride of place at the end of our lounge, and I have placed my bargain second-hand shop basket find underneath with our magazines in it.



I have had four crates stacked up in my son Bos's room for awhile now for his books. Last weekend I decided I needed two more for the books that were scattered all over his room (and the house) so went up to my local pub and picked up another two for $5 each.

I have wanted to do something to decorate them, but was unsure what until I saw these two pins on Pinterest:

Bibus vintage rouge (


I loved the idea of adding a pop of colour, but just on the inside. So I went to the paint shop and bought some Bright Orange, almost a Tiffany blue, and a turquise green. 

I painted six shelves in various shades - three of each. For the orange I painted one first, then topped up the test pot with white to do the other (each crate used just over half a pot) and then for the third I topped it back up with white to get the lightest shade.

I stacked them up (Nathan will bolt them together sometime, and add a top) and then hung some DIY art and a photo above. I think he's pretty happy!


Tuesday, 8 April 2014


In my last post I made a sleeve for my new laptop. As I wanted a slim-line cover, I did not allow a pocket for the charger - so I decided to make a matching pouch that I could put it in for travelling.

Surprisingly I could not find a DIY for this anywhere! There are plenty of tutorials for the sleeves/cases, but I have no idea what everyone does with the charger/accessories! So here is what I did.

Fabric for Outer
Fabric for Lining
An elastic cord
All the usual sewing bits (pins, sewing machine, needle and thread)

Start by laying your charger/accessories on the fabric (right sides together) and cut enough to wrap around the device about 2.5 times lengthwise, and on the sides you want to be able to allow for a seam to join the two pieces together, and a seam that will hold the finished pouch together. You want to create a pouch with a flap that will go over the top and tuck into the front.

Then cut a strip of fabric that you can sew into a tube for the strap the flap will tuck into.

Pin and sew your tube of fabric that will make the strap that the flap goes into. Turn it in the right way and press down ready for the next stage.

You then want to pin around the piece of fabric, but here is where it gets a bit tricky. You have to decide where you want your strap to go, and sew it into the inside of the piece. Lay it all out with the charger on top, wrap the fabric around and work out where it should go. Once you know where you want it, place the strap between the two layers. You want the strap and the outer fabric facing the same way. (So both the right side of the strap and the right side of the outer fabric are facing the lining).

When you sew around the rectangle, make sure you leave a gap in the seam to allow you to turn the whole thing in the right way (see above). To check if your pinned area is square, fold the bottom up to the top and see if the pins line up the whole way.

Once I sewed this and turned it in the right way, I quickly realised that I needed to taper the end that was going to tuck under, and to make it work even better I curved the corners. (Next time I would do this at the pinning stage, but just bear in mind that you may need to adjust it a couple of times to make sure it fits.)

Once sorted, I turned in the right way, hand sewed the opening closed (using an invisible stitch) and then pressed the whole thing flat with an iron.

I then decided where exactly I wanted my pouch to be secured (how deep to make the pocket, and how far down the flap would come), and pressed that in place as well.

Now pin down the sides (under the strap), and attach a zipper foot to your machine. You want to be able to sew under the strap, and as close to the edge of the pouch as possible. Start sewing at the bottom of the pouch, with your needle on the side closest to the edge (and the foot on the other side) and as you approach the strap just move it out of the way and sew under it.

And there you have it! We just need to attach some elastic cord to make sure that the items are secured inside the pouch.

Wrap your elastic around the pouch and tighten as much as is necessary to ensure that the contents are nice and secure. Mark with pics where they join.

To pin it in place for sewing, place the pins on either side of where you wish to sew (I sewed along that seam where the two fabrics meet). Then set your stitch to the smallest setting, and moving the front of the pouch out of the way, secure the elastic in place by going back and forwards over it a few times.

To finish this, we want to tie a knot tightly in the cord to cover the join, and then trim and carefully melt the ends with a lighter to ensure they don't fray. 

Phew - there you have it! Now I have a perfect pair :)


Monday, 7 April 2014


This week we bought a new laptop for testing (for our web design company) and as we live miles away from anywhere you can buy a decently priced laptop bag or sleeve, I took took the opportunity to make my own!

I had a rummage around my fabric bags and came across some denim that was left over when I cut two pairs of jeans into shorts - a grey leopard print, and a black denim (slightly washed looking). As they were the lower parts of the leg, there was not a huge amount of depth to the sections of fabric I could salvage - I squared it off, and sewed the denim together, alternating between print and plain fabric. I then sewed the seams flat and I had a nice big piece of material to work with.

For the lining I used the bottom part of a black maxi skirt that I cut into a mini (just goes to show that you should never throw out fabric remnants!) It wasn't really cushy enough for a laptop sleeve, so I also added a layer of sweatshirt material to the lining (positioned between the two fabrics).

I had a hunt around the internet for a good idea for the sleeve - I toyed with the idea of doing a simple slip-inside pouch style, then thought I would challenge myself a bit more and make one with a zip. I had a 55cm grey zip that was the perfect length for this 13" notebook.

Now I thought there was no point giving you a step-by-step on the project, when this woman has done such a good job already! Here is the tutorial I followed:


Sunday, 16 March 2014


My sister recently got married, and because I live at the other end of the country, there were not many things I could do to help with the preparations. As a contribution, my sister asked me if I could make her wedding cake. A daunting prospect! I made my own a few years previously, but it was pretty rough... so I did a practice run for a friends 30th party which came out quite nicely!

I changed a few things for the wedding cake, the height of the lower tier and also the colour of the pearl powder I used for the pearls that outlined the edge of the cake (in this image I used white, in the final one I used gold - I wanted Ivory but they had run out of stock.)

The cake is a white chocolate mudcake and you can find the recipe here.

I made five cakes in total - three larger ones for the bottom tier and two smaller cakes which were trimmed down for the top tier. I leveled each cake and sliced through the middle, assembling the cake with 5 layers on the bottom and four slightly thicker layers on the top - each sandwiched with sour cream and white chocolate ganache.

Once that is complete, I did a crumb coat with a plain buttercream and left to set before starting on the piped roses.

The pearls were made using a ready-made white chocolate flavoured royal icing (had a nice creamy colour). I cut slices and then cut those into evenly sliced squares which were rolled into balls and put into an airtight container. I then dropped some of the pearl powder in and shook it all around to evenly coat. The pearls were darker than I wanted but I was generally pleased with how they turned out.

The finished product with homemade cake toppers - J & R for Joma and Rebekah:


These were made using salt dough, moulded then baked in the oven. I then used a fine builders premixed putty to fill in the cracks, and sprayed with a gloss gold spray paint. I was really pleased with the finished result!


Sunday, 23 June 2013


Bos is now getting to an age where he is paying far more attention to the world around him, so this week I thought I would add to his sky-themed cot area with a DIY paper plane mobile.

- Coloured paper or pages from a magazine
- Plain white paper
- Scissors
- Thin nylon thread
- A ribbon to hang them from

First I selected some colourful pages from a magazine and cut them into rectangles measuring 20cm x 13.5cm. I ended up choosing to use only the teal and pink page for my planes.


Turns out I could not figure out how to fold a cute plane! So I used this tutorial, and here is another good one.

I created the clouds from simple white printer paper, but if you have light card that would be even better. Cut two identical clouds, find the centre of the cloud then down the middle of each, cut a slit to that middle point (half of the way down/up). On one go from the top, and the other from the bottom. Slot them together and they should align at the top. (You could also sew them together if you want to be real fancy).

They will then become 3D, and even using thin paper will hold their shape as above, and catch the breeze to spin in the air.

I made four planes and two clouds in total. I then threaded a needle with some clear nylon thread and used the needle to make holes in the top of each plane and cloud, threading the nylon through and knotting to secure. (Make sure on the clouds you go through both pieces of paper).

I was going to hang these of a piece of driftwood, but realised I needed the mobile to be really light to hang from a sheet suspended above the cot, so I simply strung them along a piece of blue ribbon and pinned that to the sheet.

And done!